Oh The Places You’ll Go, the last book published by Dr. Seuss before his death, is one of those rare books that connect to all ages. Tonight, as the stresses of tests consume my mind, I felt the same sense of possibility that I felt when my mom read this classic to me the night before I went to the first day of second grade.
The book begins with the narrator congratulating and sending off a yellow clothed boy – representative of the reader – to explore. In subsequent pages, the narrator maps out the boys journey, which is full of highs (“You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.”) and lows (“And when your in a Slump, your not I for much fun.”). He faces obstacles such as the temptation to wait, loneliness, and confusion; however, by the end it is clear that despite these challenges, the character (you) will succeed and “move mountains.”
Seuss’s Illustrations, as always, are colorful and whimsical. In this classic Seuss illustration style, the boy flies in a hot air balloon, plays basketball on top of what looks like a tree house that has a base of another house instead of trunk, rows through dangerous waters, and encounters characters including men with crazy facial hair, elephants, and birds. These illustrations make the life lessons accessible to children because they are humorous and full of details to look at.
In conclusion, Oh the Places You’ll Go, remains inspiring. Its message is for all ages. Through humor and whimsy, the important message that life is full of obstacles and success is made clear for children.